103rd Street
Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Christmas Bird Count

Central Park had its 107th Annual Christmas Bird Count on Sunday.  (To accommodate various greater New York locations, the counts are held on various days before and after Christmas.)

The Count is a census which records the number of each species found in the entire park.  There are seven teams, splitting up the park into sections, Northwest, Northeast, Reservoir, Great Lawn, Ramble, Southwest and Southeast.  The teams all start at the South Pump House, split up to do their section's and then meet back at the Arsenal for lunch and the tally.

The mix of birders included all skill levels, from beginners to experts.   So, if you don't think you're qualified for the event, don't worry.  Join in next year, everyone is welcome.

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Marie Winn giving a portion of the Ramble team its instructions.

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Our first raptor was this Cooper's Hawk.  It keep our initial numbers down at the feeders in the Ramble, which was free of birds as long as the Cooper's Hawk was about. 

(Most of my pictures I took were of the raptors we found.  This, however, is not representative of our day.  My photographs of the day clearly reflect my fascination with raptors, not the full range of birds we saw!)

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Our second raptor was a Red-tailed Hawk by the area along the Lake called the Oven.

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A House Finch.

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Two Mute Swans.

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This is the same Red-tailed Hawk as seen earlier.  It looks to be Pale Male, but I can't be certain.  The morning was cold and this bird had puffed up to stay warm making it harder to make an I.D.

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Downy Woodpecker.

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Sleepy Raccoon.

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Red-tailed Hawk passing overhead.

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Red-tailed Hawk just outside the park on a water tower.

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One last look before going to lunch.

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Lunch before the tally.

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New York City Park's Commissioner, Adrian Benepe.

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After the count, I went out to look for hawks in the Great Lawn area.  I found this juvenile Red-tailed Hawk in a tree inside the Diana Ross playground at 81st and Central Park West. 

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After about twenty minutes the hawk moved about 20 feet east before moving from tree to tree about 100 feet north.

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Then the hawk took off and was chased by an adult hawk up to the top of the Great Lawn.

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When I caught up to them, the juvenile hawk was nowhere to be found, but Pale Male was there with a pose that said, "Youngster, this is my territory."